Wrestling splits duals at Eastern Michigan

By Mike Romor

Wrestling found success across the board over the weekend at the EMU Duals.

NIU (2-2) won its matchups over Clarion and Findlay and dropped its two toughest duals, against No. 6 Oregon State and No. 14 Michigan.

NIU lost 22-9 in its Saturday opener against Michigan (1-1), but the Huskies received great performances from Gabe and Andrew Morse. The Morse twins won their opening matches, with Gabe pulling off the biggest upset of the day for the Huskies. Gabe defeated No. 5 Eric Grajales at 149, 5-4.

Andrew Morse, ranked 20th in the nation at 157, followed his brother’s performance with a more sizable victory. He was on the right side of a 7-2 decision against Jake Salazar.

Redshirt freshman Shawn Scott was the only other Huskie to win his opening battle of the day, downing Chris Heald, 10-6.

“I think Gabe Morse came out and had a great win,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “That was huge at 149 for us. Overall, it wasn’t a terrible effort from our guys, but we saw things that we definitely need to work on moving forward.”

Oregon State (3-0) proved to be even tougher for the Huskies, winning 27-9.

This time around, neither Morse twin nor Scott found victory, but NIU did receive wins at 133 and 141.

At 141, Tyler Argue continued to make his presence known. Fighting with Kevin Fanta for a prominent starting role, Argue pinned Joey Delgado. Argue finished with a 2-1 mark on the day, recording another pin at 149 against Findlay.

After losing his first match back from a preseason ankle injury, 133-pound Nick Smith defeated Drew Van Anrooy in overtime, 8-6.

Smith went on to beat Clarion’s No. 18, Sam Sherlock, in his next matchup, helping to propel NIU to its first dual win of the season.

NIU beat Clarion (2-2) in its third dual of the day, 21-15, in dramatic fashion. After dropping the first match, Smith’s win jumpstarted the Huskies, which received big wins from Fanta at 141 and Andrew Morse at 157.

After losing 165 and 184, NIU found itself down, 15-12. Scott dominated Brandon Contreras at 197, earning a pinfall victory to make it 18-15. Jared Torrence then took care of business at 285 to seal the win. Scott finished 3-1 on the day, while Torrence ended with a 2-2 mark.

“Shawn Scott’s pin was huge for us, and that basically ended things,” Ludwig said. “We knew [Torrence] was going to be able to get the job done at heavyweight.”

NIU concluded action with a 41-9 win over a shorthanded Findlay that forfeited at 125, 133, 141 and 157.

NIU forfeited at 184 and lost at 174, but won the other four matches in the contest, which included two major decisions and a pin.